Future prospects top of young people's concerns, #LockdownLowdown follow-up reveals

The latest #LockdownLowdown survey reveals that finances and future employment now top the list of concerns for Scotland's young people, with two in five young people having been placed on furlough due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 6,000 young people from across Scotland took part in the latest survey, commissioned by the Scottish Government and delivered by YouthLink Scotland, Young Scot and Scottish Youth Parliament, helping to shine a light the longer-term impacts of coronavirus and the concerns of young people as the country adjusts to shifting lockdown restrictions.

The survey found that 39% of young people currently do not feel optimistic about their future employment prospects. Contributing to this was the fact that 39% of young people overall have been placed on furlough, while 31% of those in part-time employment have seen their contracted hours reduce as a result of the pandemic.

Other key findings include:

  • 76% of young people have returned to in-person learning, with 67% 'happy to be back'
  • 66% of admitted to not knowing how to access information on financial support
  • 38% of young people are concerned about their mental health (down from 77% in April)
  • 44% are not confident about accessing information or support on mental health and wellbeing

The Lockdown Lowdown follow-up also includes in-depth focus group research by the Scottish Youth Parliament into the impact of COVID-19 on young people whose voices are often unheard. The qualitative data came from groups of disabled young people, young people from ethnic minority backgrounds, care experienced young people, young people in the criminal justice system, and young carers.

The results largely mirror that of the main survey, with members of the focus groups stating that they were grateful to have spent time with their family members during lockdown. While young people within the focus groups acknowledged that technology had helped them stay in touch with friends and families, participants with disabilities noted that some of the commonly-used digital platforms were not always accessible to them, increasing anxiety, stress, and feelings of isolation.

Findings from the latest survey report will be used by the Scottish Government, and will be shared with other stakeholders including the NHS and Local Authorities to help shape the ongoing response to Covid-19.

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